Scary zombies, spooky skeletons and pinewood caskets filled the streets of downtown Bucoda as attendees gathered for the second annual Pine Box Derby Casket and Zombie Races. The event is one of many Spook-Tacular festivities scheduled in the next month in the tiny Thurston County town. 

Bucoda and its town of 583 residents officials assume the name “Boo-coda” for October.  The Casket Races, fast becoming an annual tradition took place Saturday morning.

“Halloween is a big time for the community,” said Mayor Alan Carr. “It means a lot to bring people down here and show that there’s more to Thurston County, than just northern county, and it’s just a way to help bring everyone together.”

The We Love Rainier committee made the 13 mile trek down to support the “Spook-Tacular,” in its second year with help from members in their own community.

“We like to support other small city activities and when we heard about the Pine Derby Race we decided to enter to support our neighbors,” said Sarah Christensen, of the We Love Rainier committee. “We got one of our locals to build the pine box derby for us and with help from the Rainier High School Football coaching staff, they asked 5 of their boys if they would mind coming out here on a Saturday morning and racing and they’ve got a big love for the community so we’re just out here supporting.”

The Pine Box Derby Casket and Zombie Races had a total of seven entries with the fastest time going to the Joe’s Place team, and the slowest time going to the Thurston County Economic Development Council who brought home the “Dead Last” trophy.

“I don’t think your going to see anything like this anywhere else in Washington,” said Morgan Greene, a representative from Joe’s Place. “A lot of different communities get together and just come out here to have a good time and make friends and a lot of creative caskets.”

Numerous other prizes were also awarded to teams such as “Scariest Casket” and “Best Costumed Team and Cortege,” with all participants receiving a gift certificate for one “Boo-coda Spook-tacular Special Burger,” a side order of tots, fries or onion rings and a drink from one of their sponsors Eastside Big Tom, located at 2023 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia.

This year the eatery boasts all new flavors of Official Boo-Coda Milkshakes (Boo-Berry, Franken Berry, Count Chocula and Monster Energy). With each Milkshake purchased you receive a “Hearsela” Trading Card worth $4 off the Scary Nights Haunted House, located at 403 N. Nenant Street, in Bucoda.

The “Spook-tacular” will be running in “Boo-coda” through Oct. 31, with events happening every weekend. Below is a full schedule. For more information, go to

October 12, 2019: Pancake Breakfast, Hearse Procession and Viewing, Newly Dead Game, Vendor Fair & Haunted House




9:00-11:00amPancake Breakfast


9:00am-4:00pmVendors Will Be Located at 114 S. Main St. in Bucoda Public Square


10:00am-4:00pmFood Vendors Will Be Open


10:00amSign Up and Staging for Hearse Procession


11:30amProcession Starts


7:00pm-11:00pmHaunted House Will Be Open (10/11 and 10/12)


October 19, 2019: Family Fun and Fright Day, Pumpkin Carving, Coloring Contest




9:00-11:00amPancake Breakfast


9:00am-4:00pmVendors Will Be Located at 114 S. Main St. in Bucoda Public Square


10:00am-4:00pmFood Vendors Will Be Open


6:00pm-9:00pmMonster Mash Dance located at 101B East 7th Street in Bucoda


6:00pm-7:30pmMonster Mash Dance Ages 1-12


7:00pm-9:00pmMonster Mash Dance Ages 13-17


7:00pm-11:00pmHaunted House Will Be Open (10/18 and 10/19)


October 25-26, 2019: Family Friendly Haunted House




6:00pm-9:00pmFamily Friendly Haunted House located at 202 S. Main Street in Bucoda



$5 per person or 4 non-perishable food items (not ramen)

$20 - per family or a clean usable coat, blanket, or bike. 

Free tickets available for underprivileged youth at the Tenino Food Bank.


Enter at your own risk.


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